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Old 12-08-2019, 03:08 PM   #1
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Insulation?

So we've got the bus home and there are some holes drilled in the roof panel where they attached wiring, etc. Inside these holes I can see insulation. There's approx 1/2 depth between the roof and panel and outer skin and it has fiberglass-like insulation in there. Is that normal?

There is also insulation behind the outside wall of the 2 closets that are already installed in the bus.

I've not yet pulled up the carpet to see what's going on under there, but it is all coming out, because who would ever want carpet?
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Old 12-08-2019, 03:33 PM   #2
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Yeah fiberglass insulation in the ceiling and the walls is pretty standard on most school buses.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:13 PM   #3
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Ah okay. I saw all the talk about insulating the bus and thought that meant there isn't anything in them at all from the factory.

So what's in there is not considered good enough for most uses? We plan on living in ours in a less-cold areas.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:11 PM   #4
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Ah okay. I saw all the talk about insulating the bus and thought that meant there isn't anything in them at all from the factory.

So what's in there is not considered good enough for most uses? We plan on living in ours in a less-cold areas.
Insulation and heat and AC designed to make a 20* difference over ambient. In 0* I'd like to be a bit warmer than 20*. Buses weren't really designed to spend long periods inside comfortably.
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:30 PM   #5
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Ah okay. I saw all the talk about insulating the bus and thought that meant there isn't anything in them at all from the factory.

So what's in there is not considered good enough for most uses? We plan on living in ours in a less-cold areas.
Hey, I think most people tend to replace the fiberglass stuff with either spray foam or rigid foam because the fiberglass can harbor mold, and/or even rodents sometimes. That said I left mine in because I didn't know any better and haven't really had any problems.

I am in a colder climate and have only insulated the floor, mainly, like I said, due to lack of knowledge or ability. I'm not a good role model. But I can tell you that many people in warmer climates consider insulation a must because it also helps to keep the heat OUT - not just the cold All in all, it's easier to control the temperature on an insulated bus.
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:39 PM   #6
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Hey, I think most people tend to replace the fiberglass stuff with either spray foam or rigid foam because the fiberglass can harbor mold, and/or even rodents sometimes. That said I left mine in because I didn't know any better and haven't really had any problems.

I am in a colder climate and have only insulated the floor, mainly, like I said, due to lack of knowledge or ability. I'm not a good role model. But I can tell you that many people in warmer climates consider insulation a must because it also helps to keep the heat OUT - not just the cold All in all, it's easier to control the temperature on an insulated bus.
Thanks for the info. So it basically comes down to how much time/money is more comfort worth to me?

Tough decision. I know I am going to pull up the floor and do something with the walls. Just need to decide about the ceiling.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:50 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. So it basically comes down to how much time/money is more comfort worth to me?

Tough decision. I know I am going to pull up the floor and do something with the walls. Just need to decide about the ceiling.
Just remember "I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it."
Now is the time for that decision.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:39 PM   #8
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Mine is an older bus and it has 2" fiberglass in the ceiling. In a cold climate(staying below freezing all the time) I would add some foam board to it.

If you have less then 2" of fiberglass, then that is not much. Thing is even if you can get the air temps up to a happy place if the walls and ceiling are cold it will feel cold even at 70 degrees inside.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:45 PM   #9
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When you think about it, since heat goes up insulating the floor and walls only may not make much sense for your application.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:25 PM   #10
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Yeah fiberglass insulation in the ceiling and the walls is pretty standard on most school buses.
I have gutted five buses so far and have yet to see fiberglass insulation. All five have had white or yellow nylon or polyester insulation. No itch

One of the most popular insulation materials we use in skoolies is sprayed in two part, closed cell polyurethane foam. Also popular is the foam board insulation.

How you plan to use your bus you will help decide what insulation you want. I will be living full time in mine and will likely we some foul weather. I just had spray foam done on my bus. It has made a huge difference in the comfort level while working on the bus. We have been having highs in the 30's outside. I can keep it short sleeve comfortable with a little portable electric heater (900 watts).

The spray foam also made the bus much quieter.

The downside is that the spray foam is somewhat expensive. I spent $1688 to have my bus done.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:30 PM   #11
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Ah, so it's yellow nylon then. We do plan on living it in full time and most of that time in the South. I really liked the stock ceiling, but I guess we'll have to pull it out to put better insulation in there.

Also, how are ya'll measuring bus length? It's already split into 3 rooms, with lengths of 18' (bulkhead to wall), 12'8" and 5'6", but that doesn't count the thickness of the 2 walls. Or is there a plate or something that has an 'official' size on it.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:43 PM   #12
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Many of us just refer to the number of windows it has not including the drivers window. So mine was a 11 window bus. Each window center to center on the window post is about 28". Also each window corresponds to one row of seats.

You could put your ceiling back up after insulating.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:48 PM   #13
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Okay, so it has 15 windows. But, the first 10 are 28s and the next 4 are larger, 35s, with the 15th window being a another 28. So.. however big that is.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:52 PM   #14
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I have gutted five buses so far and have yet to see fiberglass insulation. All five have had white or yellow nylon or polyester insulation. No itch

One of the most popular insulation materials we use in skoolies is sprayed in two part, closed cell polyurethane foam. Also popular is the foam board insulation.

How you plan to use your bus you will help decide what insulation you want. I will be living full time in mine and will likely we some foul weather. I just had spray foam done on my bus. It has made a huge difference in the comfort level while working on the bus. We have been having highs in the 30's outside. I can keep it short sleeve comfortable with a little portable electric heater (900 watts).

The spray foam also made the bus much quieter.

The downside is that the spray foam is somewhat expensive. I spent $1688 to have my bus done.
My Ward Senator definitely had real fiberglass.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:15 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info. So it basically comes down to how much time/money is more comfort worth to me?
Yes exactly. Almost everyone here will tell you take the time to do it right the first time and insulate floor ceiling and walls. Though I subscribe to the "spend the extra time to do it right" philosophy, I think many people here get too rigid with their insistence that reinsulating is a must. I lived in an uninsulated van for 2 years, I wasn't always comfortable, but mostly I was fine. I followed the seasons, spent a lot of time outside, and got used to sometimes just being hot or cold and layering appropriately. I wouldn't advocate this, its always nicer to be more comfortable, but it all depends on your priorities, tolerance, climate, and how you plan to use the bus. If it were me (and I planned to live in it or use it in winter for long periods of time) I would insulate the hell out of it and definitely not skip the ceiling. If I was just planning to use it for road trips and camping I would consider leaving the fiberglass as is.

Quote:
Tough decision. I know I am going to pull up the floor and do something with the walls. Just need to decide about the ceiling.
If I was going to spend the time and money to insulate floor and lower walls, I would definitely take the extra time to insulate the ceiling as well. In hot weather ceiling insulation will be the most important if you are parked in the sun, and in cold weather its pretty important too as heat rises.

I do agree with the other commenters here who are saying you won't ever regret having more insulation than you need.
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Old 12-14-2019, 05:06 PM   #16
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For me this is the first year for us iving "full time" in our Skolie, it is a 66 pass 38 footer, I have insulated the floor and the walls,up to the windows. I used 2 inch rockwool. I have wood heat and can tell you I love it. We live on the BC west coast in Canada. I have left the original sheet metal and insulation in the walls and ceiling on this bus, I was a autobody guy for 20+ years and beleive the bus is more structurley sound left at factory and just add to it rather then doing the strip down so many feel inclined to do. Mind you the body has "No rust" or holes so I was confident of the structure, there is some thermal bridging in the ceiling as a result (condesation shows up on cross ribs on ceiling when cold) I am going to nsulate the cieling with 1.5 in rigid
which will resolve that so best bet is to tweak as you go, thease buses are built tough so best to not mess with the structual intergrity if you can avoid it.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:11 PM   #17
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thease buses are built tough so best to not mess with the structual intergrity if you can avoid it.
Cheers
Actually these buses are so over built for protecting our children that much can be messed with without concern for structural integrity. Blue Bird makes the same bus in a Wanderlodge that has half the ribs of a school bus.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:22 PM   #18
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Actually these buses are so over built for protecting our children that much can messed with without concern for structural integrity. Blue Bird makes the same bus in a Wanderlodge that has half the ribs of a school bus.
and they have cardboard ceilings.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:25 PM   #19
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I've missed this thread until now. My 95 BlueBird definitely had fiberglass. Except for the foam covering the heater hoses when they were outside, there was no other thermal insulation in the bus. Unless you count the pieces of foam board that were in the upholstery on the corners of the seat backs in order to protect young skulls from impact. But those served no thermally insulative purpose whatsoever.

In the ceiling there wasn't really enough fiberglass to insulate properly. Most pieces of fiberglass just fell out when I removed the ceiling panel. There wasn't anything remotely resembling a vapor barrier. And the ceiling material was not cardboard. It was pretty heavy gauge sheet metal, 14 or 16 gauge, I would guess, but perforated. I have nothing to measure it with. It certainly appeared to me that the fiberglass insulation in the ceiling was for keeping the noise down rather that heat in.

It looked like there was a little more insulation in the walls. Probably just enough to keep kids from freezing to the wall in a really cold climate. My daughter froze her tongue to a signpost at age 3 or 4, which can be pretty serious in a cold climate.

So after I got a few good looks at the insulation in my bus through light fixture holes and such, I never for a minute considered leaving the OEM insulation and interior paneling in place. It wasn't just the ineffectiveness of the insulation that persuaded me.

All the particles of fiberglass that were coming from that 24 year old fiberglass, which I knew would keep raining down as long as I have the bus unless I took them out, actually played a much greater role in convincing me to strip out everything back to the exterior shell.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:35 PM   #20
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Def not 14 ga. Probably more like 20.
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